Polling begins in Bengal under tight security cover


Reports of tension had started surfacing from certain pockets in the Cooch Behar constituency, which is under the scanner of the Election Commission of India…reports Asian Lite News

Polling for Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal started on Friday morning under tight security cover.

However, in the first 30 minutes since the polling began, reports of tension had started surfacing from certain pockets in the Cooch Behar constituency, which is under the scanner of the Election Commission of India.

Voters were seen lining up in front of the polling booth in all three constituencies in the early hours.

Interacting with the media persons, early voters said that the two reasons that prompted them to reach polling stations early were to avoid the heat as well as the long queues in the latter part of the day.

The polling began with a tragedy at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar district, where a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan, who was admitted to a hospital, died early Friday morning. The said jawan, identified as Nilesh Kumar Nilu (42), was admitted to a local hospital on Thursday night after he complained of uneasiness. He was a resident of Bihar.

Governor C.V. Ananda Bose on Friday told media persons that he will be keeping a watch on the developments throughout the day from the Peace Room within the premises of the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.

Polling is continuing in 2,043 booths at Cooch Behar, 1,867 in Alipurduar and 1,904 in Jalpaiguri.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held a public meeting in Cooch Behar earlier this month and attacked the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal for “protecting the accused” in the Sandeshkhali incidents that rocked the state.

He asserted that only BJP can stop atrocities against women, adding that the party has resolved to ensure punishment for the accused in the Sandeshkhali incidents.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP marked a strong improvement, taking its tally from 2 in 2014 to 18 against the TMC’s 22. The Congress’s tally dropped to just 2 seats, while the Left scored a blank.

The BJP, on the other hand, is aiming to make further inroads in the state after rising to the rank of main Opposition party in the state in the Assembly elections in 2021.

‘People of Bengal deserve peace, harmony’

After an alleged incident of stone pelting at a Ram Navami procession in East Medinipore district, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Friday said that the people of Bengal want and deserve peace and harmony.

He said that it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to book and stern actions against the perpetrators.

“Peace and harmony are something that the people of Bengal want and the people of Bengal deserve. It is after the authorities to ensure that there is law and order in the state, especially during the elections. Any perpetrators of violence should be booked and stern action should be taken, that is the responsibility of the Election Commission,” the Governor said.

The Governor, on Friday, visited the iconic Kalighat Kali Temple in South Kolkata and offered prayers for peaceful polls in the three constituencies of the state.

While coming out of the temple, he told the media that throughout the day he would be at the Peace Room within the premises of Raj Bhavan in Kolkata keeping a watch on the developments of the day.

Initially, the Governor had plans to camp at Cooch Behar on the polling day considering that this constituency had the maximum records of poll-related violence. However, following the insistence of the Election Commission as well as a complaint filed by the Trinamool Congress with the Commission, the Governor shelved his plans to camp at Cooch Behar.

BJP candidate from Medinipore, Agnimitra Paul, and party workers also staged a protest against the alleged stone pelting incident by putting up a road blockade.

“Hindu brothers and sisters in the Ram Navami rally got attacked by Jihadis in EGRA tonight but those who attacked got spared but the ones who were attacked got arrested by EGRA PS Entire night the Bjp karyakartas protested. Our fight against @MamataOfficial APPEASEMENT POLITICS is ON,” the BJP leader posted on X on Thursday.

State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the BJP for linking her party to the clases in Murshidabad, “”I am challenging and saying that BJP orchestrated the incident that happened the other day… If I ask the BJP commission why they removed their DIG one day before Ram Navami,? Was it to plan this?”

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